A new novel focuses on the Naxal movement and narrates with vivid details the 1971 Cossipore-Baranagar massacre in West Bengal in which several Naxalite youths were killed allegedly by police and Congress activists.
“Half Man” by Asim Mukhopadhyay also focuses on the struggles of the displaced people during the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
The protagonist in the novel is Bhola Mahato, who is the half man and reflects on the life of millions of oppressed in the country.
Mahato is an innocent village youth of south Bengal, semi-literate but intelligent and wise beyond his years through his experiences. He is poor but courageous, who is tortured, humiliated, thrown out of his village and chased from one place to another and is ultimately turned into a social activist.
The people are the system. They must be changed, in their way of living, thinking and fighting evil.
Another important character in the novel, published by Niyogi Books, is Aroni Roy, a young journalist-cum-social anthropologist.